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Mrs. Gabriel and Mrs. Cantwell strive to provide a music program at Great Oaks Elementary School that enriches each student’s experience by building on an extensive repertoire of quality folk music through singing, playing, listening, and improvising.

The Kodály concept is used at Great Oaks, based on the teaching of Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodály. Continue reading for more information about this concept.

Zoltan Kodály (1882-1967) was a Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist and music educator. He is given credit for gathering and implementing the Kodály concept in the first singing schools in Hungary. The success of these schools has led to this type of music education being implemented all over the world. In many parts of Europe, this is not called the Kodály method but only sound music education.

The Kodály concept is based on training the “ear before the eye” and using the voice as the main instrument for children. Folk songs are used because of their timeless beauty, developmental appropriateness for children and connection to the classical repertoire. The Kodály concept teaches children how to read and notate the rhythms and melodies found in their folk songs and games. This concept also uses Curwen hand signs and syllables known as solfége for the various intervals sung in a musical scale. Musical literacy is one of the goals of Kodály educators; however, developing a love for music is the ultimate goal.

The Great Oaks music program sequences concepts logically, so that by the end of a child’s musical experience at Great Oaks Elementary, students will have a firm knowledge and understanding of musical concepts, an understanding and appreciation for music of other cultures, their own musical culture, and a lifelong love for music.

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